Monday, June 19, 2006

Best. Coffee. Ever.

When I was in East Lansing this past weekend, I bought 5 pounds of my favorite coffee beans. Just smelling them brewing in my house right now feels like college.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Quarter-century, plus one

Today, driving home down 696, I noticed an unusually high number of deer on the side of the road - bloated in the heat, their necks twisted up with blank eyes staring at nothing, the blood a dark red stain on the cement. When I was young, maybe 10 or 11, I watched a dog get hit by a car. He was running toward me when it happened.

That summer I was best friends with a boy who lived across the street from me. Every afternoon we would walk his paper route together, delivering papers and hanging out in that uncomplicated way that kids have, where friendships were still mostly about mutual adventures. One day we came upon this puppy with no collar who seemed to be lost, so we decided that we would put him in my fenced-in backyard while we asked around the neighborhood looking for his owners.

We weren't having much luck, and kept going back to check on him and say hello. He was always so excited to see us, jumping up and licking our faces. After a few trips, we went back and he wasn't in the yard. I ran inside to tell my mom, and she said that she had let him out. "Carolynne, he's been couped up all afternoon. We couldn't keep him in the yard forever." Stricken, Shaun and I ran around the neighborhood looking for him.

We finally spotted him down the block quite a ways, across the street. Without thinking I yelled out, "Puppy! Come here, puppy." Just as he saw us and sprinted happily toward us, a car came out of no where. I still remember how it sounded, the squeal of breaks, the sounds he made, the exact feeling that went through my body when it happened.

Thinking about that today I realized that no matter how old I get, there are still things that I can't speak out loud to my Mother because I know that no explanation she can give me will make it any better. Nothing she could tell me could make me understand why she needed to let the dog out of our yard, so I will never ask her. This is how we coexist.

My Mom and I have never had the best relationship. She was depressed most of my childhood, and spent a good deal of time either crying, sleeping, watching tv, or heavily medicated into some semblance of normalcy. My Dad and I split up the running of the house between us in an unspoken arrangement that we had - I would clean, he would do the laundry, we would both take turns cooking. It worked amazingly well, more normal than you would think it could be.

Looking back on the past 25 years of my life, I feel like I've had to be a grown-up for most of them. In a way, 26 feels much the same as 16 did, only now I'm suppose to be this much of an adult. Sometimes I wish I had more of a childhood but mostly I'm okay with that, mostly I like being a grown-up. I think I balance it well with a healthy does of spontaneity and a good eye for adventure (even still).

This entry seems long and convoluted, but I guess that's just the kind of mood I'm in. Maybe turning 26 has muddied my brain. Maybe, I just need some sleep. Either way, I'm wrapping this up. What do I want my 26th year to include? I want to take another class (maybe continue French, maybe another photography or (god knows I need it) a writing class. I want get all my pictures into album (including! my! Alaska! pictures!). I want to spend more time playing my piano. I want to make lots of money and spend it in all the right ways. I want to make sure that all my friends know how much they mean to me. I want to have lots of laughs and at least a few spontaneous adventures. I want to make sure I'm not too much of a grown-up.

Friday, June 16, 2006

And the fortune cookie gods say ...

Last night with my Chinese food, I got a fortune cookie that said: "You will be unusually successful in business". I think that's possible the best fortune I've ever gotten. Ever.

I've taped it to my laptop.

The rolling stone

I just finished watching The Family Stone and it's left me aching for Christmas. As an only child, I never really had the big holidays, surrounded by loud, crazy, and endearingly screwed up family. I know that sort of family only really exists in the movies, but I can't help sometimes feeling like I missed out on something. Having a sister, or even an older brother, to bounce things off of would have been nice over the years.

I never really missed out on that when I was younger, growing up as I did in a neighborhood full of kids my own age and their siblings of varying ages. It was actually pretty great going home at night to the peace and quiet of my own house. I had the best of both worlds - the busy companionship of my friends and the relaxing solitude of my only-childness.

It just seems that lately, more and more, I've been wishing for a sibling -- someone to roll my eyes at over dinner when my Aunt brings up politics or someone to cry with when we find out my Mom has cancer or to laugh at me when I've said something over-the-top ridiculous . I've got good female friends -wonderful friends - but there is just something so different about the sister bond it seems, that I've-known-you-my-entire-life kind of thing, that can never be matched by any other friendship.

I know it wasn't a choice that my parents made to have only one child - although I like to joke that they just got it right on the first try - but it still makes me long to have a big family myself, to create for my children that kind of loud, crazy atmosphere that I never got to be a part of.

I guess that's what good movies can do for you - they give you a little slice of what life can be like, leaving you feeling like your belly is full and empty at the same time. I just finished that movie with such a feeling of contentment, yet a longing for something more.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Pie: the new crack cocaine

I wanted to post a picture today of the beautiful strawberry-rhubarb pie that I made from scratch this afternoon but, well, there's only two pieces left. One and a half, actually. Hmm ... maybe I should go finish that other half right now. I mean, it's just sitting there being all half eaten and stuff. What's that Taco Bell commercial - 4th meal? It could totally be my fourth meal. Well, fifth really, considering I already had two pieces earlier. Yeah, maybe I should just leave that for tomorrow's forth meal.

It's really not like I ate the whole pie myself. My neighbor gave me some fresh rhubarb out of her garden a few days ago and, as she was the inspiration for the pie to begin with, I had to give her and her husband a few pieces. Then my boyfriend stopped by and had a piece. Well, actually he was on his way home from work and I dared him to eat a piece of the pie and not ask me to marry him (he didn't, come to think of it), and then he had to take a few pieces home for his parents.

So now, from a pie that I baked a few hours ago, I am left with only one and a half pieces. Man, I have to stop being so generous with my baked goods.